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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Customer Journey

Peter Drucker was right when he said, “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer”. This is the goal of every business: to create and keep customers. This principle survives Digital.

Digital helps you keep this focus by giving you more ways to know your customer better. The best way to satisfy your customer is to truly understand them. You can do this by mapping every point of contact a customer has with your brand—known as their customer journey.

Customers are leaving digital footprints. The transactions, videos, peer reviews on social media sites, blog posts, web forms, call center discussions, point-of-sale promotions, and devices people use on their purchasing journeys—these are your navigation points on the digital customer journey. Data accumulates (and becomes more valuable) at every intersection. This detritus is pure gold. It is key to differentiating products and services because it can be examined and analyzed to uncover insights into buyer behavior—to reveal wants, needs, and motives at each step in the journey.

Your Digital Sherpa is your guide in making sure that the experience is targeted and consistent, no matter what channels your customers are using. Digital consumers are very transparent about their brand preferences, experiences, and sentiments. The more that people consume online, the more touchpoints they use and the more information they share, the more you can learn. Your Digital Sherpa will help you find moments of truth.

Moments of truth can be tied back to actions that drive processes. When the journey is deconstructed and digitalized, the delivery of information or goods can be customized, automated, and real time.

The journey has to be smooth and the experience consistently great.

If you ignore your Digital Sherpa, the journey can be treacherous. One mistake, and you lose your way, or worse, you lose a customer. But chances are good the customer will come back, and when they resume their journey, you have to be ready for them. That’s why it’s important to map out and connect each navigation point, so you can anticipate your customer’s needs at each step along the way.

Good maps are based on accurate data. Accurate data gives you a 360-degree view of each customer. Once you understand what motivates your customer at each step in a journey, you can more effectively satisfy their expectations, in their moment of need. Your Digital Sherpa helps you equip your customers with the right tools at the right time. You don’t give a climber a 50-foot rope on a 100-foot cliff. And you wouldn’t expect a Millennial to shop from a mailbox.

Compelling, personalized digital experiences take customers from need to sold. In my next post, I’ll explore how digital engagement puts the customer in the driver’s seat, changing the sales cycle and doing away with the sales funnel.

For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.


Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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